Dali watercolour fruit studies to see $106,500 each at Bonhams

Fourteen fantastic watercolour studies of fruit by surrealist Salvador Dali will appear at Bonhams' impressionist and modern art sale in London on June 18.

The previously unseen works are each valued at up to £70,000 ($106,639), with the entire series expected to make almost £1m ($1.5). They were first commissioned in 1969 and have remained in the same private collection since their creation.

Each of the works appropriates the style of the traditional botanical drawings of the 19th century, but of course Dali has added his own interpretation, giving the fruit and plants humanoid features.

For example, Hasty Plum, above, hurries across the page on his stick legs, while Erotic Grapefruit is seen showering a flailing leaf figure in its juice.

"These compositions are a fabulous illustration of Dali's artistic approach. By overlaying such traditional images with his famous artistic vocabulary of dragons, hooded figures, crutches and weeping eyes, he gives us an insight into his own hyper-fertile imagination," said William O'Reilly, director of Bonhams' impressionist department.

"But most of all, these beautifully fresh images show Dali enjoying himself, poking fun at the demons and fairies lurking behind the straight-laced images of the 19th century science."

Dali himself once said: "I see the human form in trees, animals: the animal and vegetable in the human. My art shows the metamorphosis that takes place."

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a spectacular original Dali drawing for sale, which is thought to be a sketch of his wife, Gala.


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